Transformation and role play
Works by Ovartaci and Other Queer Art
25th of april – 4th of august 2013

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The danish painter and decorator Louis Marcussen (1894-1985), spent 56 years of his life in a mental institution. He called himself Ovartaci, in a jutlandic dialect a word for Overtossi – chief-idiot.
The selection in Heidelberg displays important works from the Museum Ovartaci in Aarhus/Denmark. The museum is part of the Aarhus Psychiatric Hospital in Risskov. In his room Ovartaci created pictures, sculptures and flying machines, which reflect his phantasies about different reincarnation cycles of his life – as a butterfly, a bird, a puma or tiger. The reconstruction of his longtime living environment with his self-painted bed is at the center of the exhibition. Several pictures of female figures and puppets made from paper-mâché- soulmates with whom he shared his room- indicate his longing for the embodiment of the opposite sex. In a film recording Ovartaci himself gets to speak. The topic of transformationconcerns Ovartaci during his entire life-time. Through self-castration he provokes the desired transition/reversal from man to woman.
The museum brings Ovartaci’s creations into dialog with works from others  experienced in psychiatry from the Prinzhorn Collection and the Collection Reuter in Pécs, which deal with gender role reversals or double sexuality.
Added are photographs of Ono Ludwig, who portraits himself in changing gender roles with a camera obscura.